Why Nonpreneurs Matter

Not everyone wants to take over the world. Not everyone wants to be disruptive, innovative, on the front lines (buzzword buzzword, buzzword). And not everyone gets pleasure out of being a leader.

The origin of the word ‘entrepreneur’ is ‘one who undertakes or manages’. It’s one option that not everyone chooses. There are enablers and creators and entertainers and builders and all kinds of other people who fit into the category of the Nonpreneur, i.e. someone who does not undertake or manage. 

I am one of those people who doesn’t really ache to be the CEO of anything. I can lead from the front when necessary, but honestly? That doesn’t float my boat. The thought alone is suffocating.

Instead, I have discovered that I am an Enabler (not the kind that gices kids alcohol and cigarettes, the other kind). What actually makes me happy is helping other people lead, inspiring their internal entrepreneur, sussing out their version of success, stepping into fame and rustling up their fortune.

As someone who coaches startups, I often get asked the question,

“Why don’t you have a startup?”

The simplest and most honest answer I can give is this, “I don’t want one.”

I don’t want to be part of that world and I don’t want the responsibility that comes along with it (three kids is as entrepreneurial as I want to be right now). But I’m truly happy helping those who do, to get there. Simply speaking, I see the success I’ve enabled in others as my own success too.

Believe it or not, those things are not the drivers in life for everyone.

Ask me what my ideal life looks like and I’ll tell you something along the lines of living a quiet peaceful life surrounded by books and cats and kids and plants, and making a contribution to society when I can. I don’t want to be in the race. I want to be a cheerleader for those in the race, while I sit on the sidelines and write and draw and sip my wine. But I will be your biggest and best cheerleader if you choose to join the race. I promise.

Now life would be just peachy except that Nonpreneurs sometimes have to deal with the tyranny of the Entrepreneur. When people do not see the value in what you’re doing and belittle you and your abilities, simply because you ‘teach’ or ‘coach’ or support and enable rather than doing it yourself.

If everyone is ‘doing it’ themselves, where would your support structure be? Who would work for you, inspire you, mentor and advise you? Who’s shoulder would you cry on? Who would buy from you? Who would talk about your work and spread the word?

Entrepreneurs can make the mistake of taking their support structure for granted, not giving credit to those behind the scenes, not acknowledging their contribution to your success, and not returning the support when they need a little from you.

The old adage of ‘those who can’t do, teach’, is off by a couple words. A more accurate description of Nonpreneurs (and me in specific) is perhaps, ‘those who don’t want to do, teach.’

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